Drug War

A Young Woman's Shocking Encounter With Drug Warriors Disguised As Immigration Agents

How the Supreme Court allows drug dragnets while calling them unconstitutional



Last week I described a stop at an immigration checkpoint in upstate New York during which a Border Patrol agent used a stun gun against an unarmed, nonviolent college student. In my latest Forbes column, I explain how the Supreme Court set the stage for such incidents:

If you want to know how Jessica Cooke ended up on her back, screaming in pain as the barbs from a stun gun delivered incapacitating electricity into her body, there are several possible answers. You could say this indignity was caused by her own stubbornness, her refusal to comply with the seemingly arbitrary dictates of a Border Patrol agent who was detaining her for no apparent reason at an internal immigration checkpoint in upstate New York. Or you could blame the agent's insistence on obeisance to his authority, which led him to assault an unarmed 21-year-old woman who posed no threat to anyone. But the ultimate responsibility lies with the Supreme Court, which has invited this sort of confrontation by carving out a disturbing and dangerous exception to the Fourth Amendment.

Read the whole thing.

NEXT: As Future of NSA Surveillance Grows Murky, New Report Shows Section 215 Not Exactly Vital

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  1. How was she dressed? Was she asking for it?
    And the Supreme Court said it was OK, right?

  2. “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.” – Lysander Spooner

    Can anyone honestly say we currently live in a Constitutional Republic?

    1. I can say it thanks to the first amendment! But that doesn’t make it true. :*(

    2. The Republic died long ago.

      1. To the sound of thunderous applause?

        1. Pretty much, yes.

    3. So are you guys finally realizing that there is actually nothing but individual anarchism, and you’re all actually individualist anarchists? Because everyone is?

      1. *Looks down, sheepishly kicks gravel*

        1. ‘Bout time!

      2. What do you mean “you guys”?

        What do you mean “finally”?

        1. Shut up, splitter!

    4. Can anyone honestly say we currently live in a Constitutional Republic?

      Olivia Newton-John?

      1. Isn’t she an Aussie?


          English born, Australia raised.

          1. English born? Really? She was teh HAWT back in the day.

            1. She’s tough as well, having survived Australia.

              I’m sure you didnt know this about her, WTF, but when Newton John was a girl, her Daddy would use her for alligator bait. Tie a rope around her neck and chuck her in the swamp. Alligator bait in the Australian Outback.

              True story.

    5. Considering that one of the first acts of Congress was the Alien and Sedition Acts, I don’t think we ever did.

    6. There never has been any such thing. It may have accidentally looked like that for a while.

    7. Can anyone honestly say we currently live in a Constitutional Republic?

      I think Spooner thought we were, and that it didn’t fucking matter.

  3. Sullum is such a “glass half empty” kind of guy. This woman might have been choked to death, given a “rough ride” until dead, shot to death, suffocated by having her chest sat upon etc, etc.

    This is actually a feel good story.

  4. I didn’t know Forbes covered stuff like this. I always thought it was a financial magazine.

    1. Jacob tricked the editors.

      1. Go, Sullum, go!

  5. On May 7, two days before she graduated from SUNY Canton with a degree in law enforcement leadership, Cooke was driving from Norfolk to her boyfriend’s house in Ogdensburg when she was stopped by the Border Patrol on Route 37 in Waddington.

    Well, while she didn’t deserve this, I don’t know I’d agree that she “posed no threat to anyone”…

    1. Well, she didn’t have a badge yet, so not an immanent threat, anyway.

    2. I wonder what she thinks about that now. Unfortunately, it’s probably “I need to get in that gang so that can’t happen to me again, but I can do it to people who sass me“. I hope not, but…

      1. Or maybe she keeps her idealism and tries to be a reformer. Then after she is drummed out of the profession she becomes an alcoholic and maybe some sort of dominatrix.

        1. Go on…

          1. There is not much more to the story. She ends up dying tragically in a tale as old as time when the club she works at, “The Electronic Control Device,” catches fire in an unfortunate lubricant/nine iron/nipple clamp/house cat/gag ball/leather chaps/etc. (you know the rest) mishap.

    3. Look on the bright side. She may now work to be a sincere reformer.

      1. In that Training Day way where Denzel says it can be done from the inside?

        1. “I didn’t know you liked to get wet.”

    4. Was this her final exam?

  6. But did the heroes make it home safely?

  7. If the checkpoints are authorized specifically for immigration enforcement, then they shouldn’t be allowed to search or arrest anyone for anything other than immigration violations, even if there is a pound of cocaine on the passenger seat. Of course, they shouldn’t be allowed at all. It’s bad enough that they are allowed to fuck with citizens as much as they do on the actual border.

    1. Unfortunately they have this broad mandate to “protect the border”. Stopping the demon rum from entering our border is part of that mandate.

  8. to many dam pop ups and such so I didn’t bother to read it. If you want people to quite reading your articles your doing a good job of it.

    1. firefox + adblocker = no pop ups

  9. OT: I dont know which part of construction is worse, dealing with city or dealing with contractor.

    Its a cycle of suck.

    1. Dealing with the City is great, if you have an inside track. Otherwise I’d take the contractor any day of the week.

      (Plus with the Contractor, you can take him to a strip club and get him drunk so he’ll agree with what you’re wanting to do.)

    2. At some point, the contractor will realize he’s sucked you dry, finish the work, and move on. And, since you can sue over it, it will probably be built to a minimum, acceptable standard.

  10. Wow, Big J moving up the dial to Forbes.

  11. This may be a silly question, but did anyone catch Sullum on Glenn Beck’s show yesterday?

    1. That’s a silly question.

      1. I’m surprised anyone asked it.


        I didn’t, Riven, but you can use this link to listen to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0Ra1S0wMtk

        1. Thanks, but I did listen to it live yesterday. Normally I’ll listen to Beck’s program because it’s just…on the radio while I drive for 10 minutes to the gym after work. But he’d been promoting last night’s show all last week, so I specifically tuned in just to hear Sullum debate the other guy.

          Sullum really had some good points, while the other guy was just an idiot. He didn’t even understand how the fed is separate from the states. Anyway, it was actually a really good segment, and I was genuinely surprised to hear it on Glenn Beck’s program. I…I think we can change him.

          1. I might listen to it, based upon what you’ve written.

  12. Failure to respect authoritah.

  13. That did not sit right with Cooke, who had studied law enforcement in college

    Well, she got an education from the streets today! Unlearn that college shit.

  14. That fucking pig is a goddam model for the Fascist Jackboots Catalogue. Look at his dumb fucking haircut and obvious lack of intelligence in his slack mouth. What a piece of shit.

  15. “any further detention” beyond the time necessary to resolve immigration questions “must be based on consent or probable cause.”

    She looked nervous.

    1. If an officer ever asked my why I was nervous, I’d reply that it’s a natural reaction to being held captive by someone with a gun.

      1. I’d say that I’m fearing the imminent sexual assault.

  16. Her backbone was clearly ripped and then transplanted from the broken remains of an early American pioneer scalped by a Sioux raiding party, left for dead, and then eaten alive by starving wolves as he valiantly but fruitlessly resisted his bloody demolition alongside the body of his wife who been raped multiple times and then killed with a club smashed into her brain as they journeyed West by wagon train into the craggy Western realms.

    Modern Americans generally scream from the Facebooks and Twitters, “Just OBEY and you’ll be OK!”

    Goddamn motherfuckers are a spineless coagulation of collective prostration to the deity of the motherfucking legal system mostly built by abject tyrants. Fuck modern America.

    1. Now who can argue with that?

      I think we’re all indebted to Agile Cyborg for clearly stating what needed to be said. I’m particularly glad that these lovely children were here today to hear that speech. Not only was it authentic stream of consciousness rhetoric, it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.

    2. Tell us how you really feel.

  17. “Jessica Cooke ended up on her back, screaming in pain as the barbs from a stun gun delivered incapacitating electricity into her body”

    Her mistake was not being a convicted murderer, sentenced to death. Then that sort of pain would be unconstitutional.

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